Committed a crime? Go to a Houston church.

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Committed a crime? Go to a Houston church.

"On a Sunday morning, in a church sanctuary near Conroe, an off-duty immigration agent tapped Jose Juan Hernandez on the shoulder and asked him to step outside.

A 31-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico with three prior deportations, Hernandez quietly followed the agent and promptly was detained on suspicion of illegal re-entry after deportation, said Gregory Palmore, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman in Houston.

The case would be unremarkable, except for the setting. The fact that Hernandez was detained in church has sparked controversy locally."

The full story can be found at

I have gone horse debating this with my friends. Please read the full article and comment on the obvious and more subtle points of separation of church and state and religious duplicity. I'd like to see if there is anything that I have missed.

Answers in Gene...
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Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
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Sanctuary only holds

Sanctuary only holds while you are in a church.  Once you step outside, all bets are off.


From what I am seeing, he walked outside on his own and therefore it simply does not hold. The only issue that I can see here is that the officer went inside the church and tapped him on the shoulder. Past that, he did not ask any church official for anything. So the arrest was fair game.


That being said, the tradition goes way back. A thousand years ago, if someone wanted sanctuary, they would have to get inside the church and specifically request that the church help them. Even then, if the authorities wanted the guy, they could take the church in question under siege and starve the guy out.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."